February 7, 2024

In The News: Pediatric Hospitals Discontinue Precautions, See No Increase in MRSA

Healio reports on research published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society finding no associated increase in MRSA over a four-year period that followed discontinued contact precautions. Texas-based Children’s Health system stopped contact precautions, with the exception of the NICU, for MRSA across its three hospitals under the belief there was sufficient evidence of safely doing so. The research gives credence to pushback on guidelines offered by several groups that consider contact precautions “essential practice” for preventing MRSA.

Data were collected from September 1, 2017, through August 31, 2023, a period that encompassed before contact precautions were ended and after ending. Of the 766,020 patient days, researchers found 234 incident hospital-onset MRSA infections.

Modeling showed no change in the rate of hospital-onset MRSA after discontinued contact precautions. Similar results were found for MRSA nasal colonization among patients screened prior to cardiac surgery. Additionally, prevalence of contact isolation days decreased 14%. The researchers encourage other pediatric health care facilities to consider their experience when conducting a MRSA-specific risk assessment, as recommended by the same organizations that established the guidelines.

PIDS member Zachary Most co-authored the study. He said, “In 2019, our hospital discontinued the long-standing practice of placing all patients with MRSA infection or colonization on contact precautions while hospitalized. Historically, MRSA has been considered such a target organism due to the potential severity of MRSA infections, the possibility of transmission between individuals in health care settings and the limited antimicrobials that can be used to treat these infections.”

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